The City of Durban has often received the negative title of “A Second Rate South African City,” with having no potential whatsoever of reaching the economic heights of Johannesburg, or the beautiful sights of Cape Town. The true picture of Durban has been clouded by a lot of negativity. These layered negative realities have obscured a lot of the positive story that Durban has to tell.
Beneath these layers, you learn of Durban’s status of having the best Quality of Living measure in South Africa (Mercer Consulting, 2015-2018). Or it’s status of being in the Global Top Ten Coastal Metro Port Cities (National Geography, 2014-15). Or its rating as being the Top 50 City in Africa for the best return of investment on residential property (Knight Frank, 2016). With the most awards out of any other South African city, one can begin to see that Durban is more than just a second-rate South African City. Whether it’s the Top Performing City for growth of millionaires, one of the Top 52 Places to Go, a British Airways #1 Must-See Destination, or even something practical like the Least Congested Metro City in South Africa, Durban has way more going for it. You can check out a lot of Durban’s achievements for yourself on the eThekwini Municipality website.
Beyond all of these titles and awards, there is a far greater picture of the City of Durban that begins to reveal as we peel back the layers. These awards and titles would not be possible if it weren’t for the committed actions of our hard-working city officials, the business leaders who have chosen to call Durban home and the diverse population who aren’t afraid to call each other neighbour. It’s interesting that despite a lot of the challenges we face as a city (and a country!), we are still able to pull together the resources we have and create something special.
These accolades should encourage us to do more. There are countless positive socio-economic effects these awards all lend favour towards, given the right interventions from business and government, and active citizens collaborating together. Businesses and investors can rest assured knowing their investments in property has a long-term reward. It means that businesses looking for happy, healthy citizens to train and employ will no doubt find them in this City. But it also means that people who are like-minded and want to see the City flourish have a good foundation that they can build their initiative off of.
If Durban’s partnerships between City Government, Business and Citizen have led to these awards in the past and present, it begs the question, “what would we be able to achieve with greater levels of partnership and collaboration?” City Story is working towards that. We believe the potential of our great City will be fully realised when we are able to get past differences and collaborate together through our different spheres of life. By combining our talents, we can begin to transform these spheres into effective hubs of innovation and transformation. With opportunities like a fantastic climate, an accessible geographic location, and a diverse population, we just need to adjust our perception to see that Durban is setup for excellence!